Why we need decentralized systems

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by Lumai Mubanga

Photo Courtesy of medium.com

The coming of blockchain and bitcoins have amplified decentralization as never before. While there are assertions that decentralization has given advantages to the “bad guys” to carry out their evil schemes, there is very good reasons to believe that decentralization is what we need as a society in this era.

This article will consider two specific areas any user should appreciate as to why there is need for decentralization.

Banking and finance

Many countries, charges for using ATM machines, cashing in cheques, bank wire transfer, money orders and other investment transactions. Some banks have even imposed minimum balances on our accounts. We pay so much in fees and transfers. Consider the wire transfer as an example.

If you have a child studying abroad and you want to send money, both banks on both ends will charge you transaction fees. Some banks have imposed minimum and maximum amounts that you can send and receive per transfer. Financial investment companies have thus dominated this sector as the intermediaries, central authorities that we have come to trust to do that service for us at a huge cost. Decentralization can reduce this.

In matters of privacy, banks know to whom you want to give your money to, how much money you have exchanged for foreign currencies, how much money you have wired to your children, and a lot more. It is obvious that the central authority knows all your transfers. Should they? Such personal details require privacy and decentralization is needed.

Online dating

Online dating site services specialize in Matchmaking and offer a platform to pair complete strangers into a relationship. This is a kind of centralized service and the company involved collects truthful information for its members. For example, to authenticate any new members, they collect physical addresses as well as contact details. When a user surrenders these personal details to a third party, they surrender their privacy as well.

These services sometimes come with additional services such as finding potential dating partners. In most cases, a customer has to pay a membership fee.  If they successfully arrange a dinner for you and the potential candidate, they may charge additional charges. Because you need to pass your personal information to the platform and the criteria for choosing your partner, for example, what kind of girls you like, etc., you totally rely on the service provider for that privacy. In addition, this service provider will have full access to the information, which couples have communicated and when and where they go for dinner and who want to date which one. Many of us may not even want others to know that we have registered for this kind of service. However, having a centralized party to handle such private matters come with a risk to some extent because all our movements, bookings and dating activities will be known by the service provider.

If it is possible to eliminate the centralized party, we may not need to pay this transaction fee and we will keep our activities as private as possible. That is why we need decentralization in some services.

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